U.S. Supreme Court Finds “Crime of Violence” Removal Provision Unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued its decision in Sessions v. Dimaya, which considered the constitutionality of the “crime of violence” provision of criminal removal under federal immigration law. Under current law, an immigrant who is convicted of an aggravated felony is subject to mandatory removal, with very exceptions. Part of the definition of “aggravated felony” includes so-called “crimes of violence,” which are described as felony offenses that inherently involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court agreed with the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which found that the “crime of violence” provision was unconstitutionally vague. In doing so, the Court relied on its precedent in Johnson v. United States, which found a “violent felony” provision in another federal law to be unconstitutionally vague.

Interestingly, the Supreme Court originally heard arguments in this case last term, but the justices ordered re-argument after the death of Antonin Scalia. This suggested that the remaining justices perhaps were divided on the outcome of the case. The second round of arguments also seemed to indicate a divided Court, given the questions asked by the justices. Ultimately, however, the court affirmed the Ninth Circuit’s decision, with Justice Gorsuch agreeing with a large part of the majority opinion.

Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., knows federal immigration law and has the experience to guide you and advocate on your behalf throughout any type of deportation proceeding, no matter what the allegations may be. We are familiar with the wide range of defenses that are available to individuals facing deportation, and how to build the strongest defense that is available to you, based on the evidence relevant to your case. Contact your California deportation defense lawyers today and discover what we can do for you.

 

 

 

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